April 16, 2005 Saturday
Master Ong: Meeting with a Tai-Chi Master
I was invited by a friend to attend a morning Tai-Chi talk at Corinthian Gardens. It has been some time since I last did my Tai-Chi...a little over a year ago when I joined the Taoist Tai-Chi group in Toronto. I miss it. It's uncanny how executing what seems a slow-motion martial arts kata can produce intense sweat and relaxation...not unlike yoga.
I was introduced to Master Ong. He could hardly communicate in English and required the assistance of Vicky, a devoted pupil, to do the translation. Apparently, he's a self-made man who kept an interest in publishing, shipping and construction. He has since surrendered his business to his heirs and now keeps busy with his caligraphy and editorial contribution to 3 Chinese publications. An expert in Chinese affairs, people seek his counsel in Chinese economic and political on-goings. He teaches Tai-Chi free of charge as a way to give back to the community and share the benefits he has garnered from it.
The Youngest 81 I Know
He would seem like a soft-spoken man in his late 60s. Yes, looks can be deceiving. At 81, he's built like a vault...firm and forceful. I know. He gave me the oppportunity to jab his abs and push him side-to-side. He even blocked and redirected a Muay Thai kick. Indeed, I was in the presence of an uncommon individual. If not for the language barrier, I would love to follow him around and learn from his insight, wisdom and life experience.
It's not everyday I meet a person who lives a magnificent life. I could count them with my 5 fingers. It's always a treat to be in their presence. They somehow transcend the local ongoings of daily life and exude an aura bigger than themselves. I continue to be humbled and inspired.
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